3 Things No One Tells You About Cancer Treatment
"There's a famous restaurant in Kansas City that used to serve a broccoli-cheese soup that I loved. We would always stop for it on the way home from the hospital. But since chemo made me sick to my stomach, even with the anti-nausea drugs, my body started associating the flavor with nausea, and now I can't eat it!"
Cheryl Jernigan 65, Kansas City, Missouri, diagnosed in 1996
"By the time I'd exposed myself to half the state of Massachusetts for breast exams, scans, injections, etc., I wasn't shy about flashing anyone—even interns who looked half my age. I should've had Mardi Gras beads thrown at me! Oh, and one other thing I wasn't expecting: When I shaved my head because I was losing chunks of my hair, the stubble felt like a thousand needles. We got rid of it by using duct tape like waxing strips."
Dawn Reesman,42, Southampton, Massachusetts, diagnosed in 2009
Photo: Nicolas McComber/istock
"I would slather on a good half inch of Aquaphor under my arm, over my breast area, and on my chest and neck immediately when I got home after my radiation treatments. I also rigged up a long-handled bath brush with a washcloth to put it on my back just below my shoulder, since I had burning there, too. Aquaphor is so concentrated, it stained my sheets and mattress cover to the point that I had to wash them every few days, not to mention the T-shirts I wore to bed and around the house during treatment. But it was so worth it. Because I took such good care of my skin, I didn't have the redness or 'tanning' that some people do."
Patty Masure, 65, Northampton, Massachusetts, diagnosed in 2015